London Olympics 110-metre hurdles finalist Lehann Fourie is back in South Carolina, USA to prepare for the South African Athletics Championship and the IAAF World Championship in Moscow.
ÔÇ£I decided that it is best that Sylvanues Hepburn should keep on coaching me as he knows my capabilities as an athlete and knows how to insure that I peak at the right meetings,ÔÇØ said Fourie. ÔÇ£What is exciting is that Ladji Doucoure (France), a former world champion, has joined our training squad.
ÔÇ£I think the two of us will really push each other to the limit during our training sessions which will be a good thing.ÔÇØ
At the 2005 World Championships in Athletics, Doucour├® won the 110m hurdles gold medal in a time of 13:07, beating 2004 Olympic Champion Liu Xiang by one hundredth of a second and veteran Allen Johnson by three hundredths of a second.
He (together with Ronald Pognon, Eddy De L├®pine and Lueyi Dovy) also won another gold medal in the 4├ù100 metres relay.
Fourie was certainly one of South Africa’s best athletes last year. Not only did he finish seventh in the Olympic final in London he was also seventh at the World Indoor Championship’s final in Istanbul.
A definite highlight was when he bettered Shaun Bownes’ South African record (13.26sec), on 7 September in Bruxelles to 13.24s. Fourie’s best time at the start of the 2012 season was 13.56.
As usual Fourie is not one to make any predictions about fast times. ÔÇ£I know I am capable of running a time faster than 13.20. I could have done it already last year if it was not for the fact that I made small tactical errors. Luckily I know what it is, so I can focus on making sure that I don’t keep on repeating the same mistakes.ÔÇØ
Fourie decided not to compete indoors this season as there is no World Championship. ÔÇ£I’d rather make sure that I am properly prepared for the outdoor-season.
ÔÇ£The South African Championship might be my first competitive race. There after I want compete in a few races in Europe as part of my preparation for the World Championship in Moscow.ÔÇØ
Fourie said that he and few other athletes who studied in the USA started the Eagles Atlhletics Club. ÔÇ£The idea with the club is to create a support structure for younger athletes.
ÔÇ£The past weekend we held an exhibition race over 600 metres at a school meeting. Quite a few top international athletes competed. Afterwards the youngsters had the opportunity to talk to them and to ask questions. I think it is a nice way to create awareness for athletics amongst youngsters.ÔÇØ